Friday, February 15, 2019

The Umbrella Academy - We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals

Based on the opening mini-series of the comic of the same name by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, Netflix's The Umbrella Academy begins with the reunion of a dysfunctional family due the passing of their adopted father (Colm Feore). What makes this family so unique is the father was a eccentric scientist who adopted seven children, all of who were born on the same day to separate mothers all over the world who each experienced spontaneous pregnancy, not out of any love or philanthropy but out of scientific curiosity. As children, the group were turned into heroes he believed were destined to save the world. "We Only See Each Other at Weddings and Funerals" offers a solid introduction to the comic's opening (and best) arc, involving the return of the lost member of the team (Aidan Gallagher) who reappears still in the form of a 13 year-old but who has lived for decades after becoming stuck in a post-apocalyptic future.

Alita: Battle Angel

With an interesting character and set-up, but far too much plot for a single film that feels rushed at times while still getting nowhere close to a definitive ending before the credits roll, Alita: Battle Angel is a mixed success. Adapted by director Robert Rodriguez along with James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis from a manga series, it was no surprise to me that Cameron orginally saw this as a television project rather than a feature film.

The opening where an apparently worthless robot is found in a junkyard only to be revealed as the best warrior ever reminded me more than a little of Real Steel. The junkyard treasure here is a cyborg (Rosa Salazar) who Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) will find, repair, and name after his daughter Alita. Despite her innocent appearance, Alita proves to quite formidable. As with many recent sci-fi films, Alita: Battle Angel has a strong class warfare aspect as all those we meet are living in the dystopian slums with a privileged class living high above in a floating city. Over the course of the film Alita will begin to remember fragments of her past leading her into conflict with the overseer in the skies above.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Flash - Cause and XS

In "Cause and XS" The Flash revisits the idea of timeloops and altering the past. For one hour Barry (Grant Gustin) enters the Speed Force in order to speed up Cisco's (Carlos Valdes) meta-human cure. However, this leaves the rest of the team vulnerable to Cicada's (Chris Klein) attack. Despite doing her best, Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) watches someone close to her stabbed to death with the super-villain's dagger no matter what changes she attempts to make to events by traveling back an hour to set things right. Only Cisco's minor vibes clue him in that something odd is going on as the episode offers a few different awkward first dates with Kamilla (Victoria Park) in the sequences set to provide the lighter moments in contrast to the large amount of death Nora is incapable of stopping.

Arrow - Star City Slayer

There are definitely pieces that work in "Star City Slayer" but also just as much that will likely frustrate fans of the show. With a large portion of the episode set aside to deal with William's (Jack Moore) return, it becomes obvious fairly quickly how the character has been mismanaged up to this point. Not fitting into the show's larger plans, the only available option is to ship him off to his grandparents while a villain's attack helps convince Oliver (Stephen Amell) that it might be for the best (and help explain his disconnect to the city and his family in the future plotline). And for that villain, Stanley Dover (Brendan Fletcher) returns as the killer threatening Oliver's friends in a crazy attempt to reconnect with his former prison buddy. Dover actually works fairly well here, especially with the addition of his paralyzing agent that leaves his victims completely at the mad man's mercy.

Red Sonja #1

Believing the prophecy that the day when his empire stops expanding he will die, Dragan the Magnificent has set his eyes on Hyrkania where a weary traveller known as Red Sonja has just returned home to an unexpected welcome. Dynamite Entertainment relaunches the title bringing the She-Devil with a Sword home from her travels and battles to face a new foe who offers either death or slavery under his rule.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Young Justice #2

The second issue of Young Justice picks up with our young heroes transported to Gemworld. The primary story here is Wonder Girl starring down the barrel of Jinny Hex's shotgun, and forming a shaky truce. Wonder Girl's recent past is also explored here a bit, including her run-in with Zeus and explaining a bit about why Cassie was slow to initially join the fight that led the teen heroes to Gemworld.

That Cosplay Show - Comic-Con Best Cosplay 2018

Monday, February 11, 2019

Carmen Sandiego - The Fishy Doubloon Caper

"The Fishy Doubloon Caper" takes Carmen (Gina Rodriguez) to Ecuador in search of sunken treasure. Zack (Michael Hawley) and Ivy (Abby Trott) are along for the ride, providing assistance in helping Carmen stay one-step ahead of V.I.L.E. agents El Topo (Andrew Pifko) and Le Chèvre (Bernardo De Paula). Sadly, Zack proves less helpful at a fish auction when the trio try to reacquire the coin which has been swallowed by a local delicacy. Although still a bit awkward, the episode pulls back a little on Player's (Finn Wolfhard) explanation about the latest locale for Carmen as the show makes some improvements from the previous episode.

Iconic Cars in Movies Mashup

Cosplayer of the Week - Courtoon

Courtoon is a cosplayer and artist from California. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram (and Instagram), YouTube, and deviantART. For more on her art, follow her on Instagram and Tumblr, and check out her official store.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

Even if it never quite recaptures the full magic of the original, it's hard to be disappointed with The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part which turns out to be a pretty darn good sequel. The second time around, there's plenty of zany awesomeness with the return of Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), and Batman (Will Arnett). And the script by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also throws in a nice message for kids and families about sharing and acceptance and a new adventure which was foreshadowed at the end of the original LEGO Movie. Oh, and there's a spaceship piloted by Velociraptors.

The arrival of a dangerous new invader to the LEGO world (toys from the younger sister of the previous movie's mostly-unseen master of bricks) has pushed Emmett and his friends into a dystopian future (which produces one of the most interesting LEGO sets ever made). When Lucy, Batman, Unikitty (Alison Brie), MetalBeard (Nick Offerman), and Benny (Charlie Day) are abducted by an agent of Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi (Tiffany Haddish), it falls on Emmett and his new friend Rex Dangervest (also voiced by Pratt) to save the day.

Arrow - Emerald Archer

Several familiar faces return for Arrow's 150th episode presented as a documentary (featuring alternate takes and camera angles of clips from several episodes over the series runs) about Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), vigilantes, and their role in Star City. Those returning include Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), Thea Queen (Willa Holland), Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus), Barry (Grant Gustin), and Ragman (Joe Dinicol) who provide their own takes on Oliver and vigilantes along with interviews and sequences from the current cast of series regulars. And when Oliver puts himself in harm's way to be lure out the villain of the week, the episode even offers the return of Team Arrow. The documentary-style of much of the episode offers its strengths and weaknesses, but overall the episode turns out well (and we do get more regular scenes between characters when not in front of the documentary crew).

Uncanny X-Men #11

The future of the X-Men, as bleak as it looks, begins here. Uncanny X-Men #11 is a bit over-stuffed, telling the same story (Scott Summers' return from the grave and search for the missing X-Men) from three different perspectives. Cyclops gets the majority of the focus here, with Wolverine and Blind Ruth also getting several pages of back-up stories. In the end, the issue delivers what you want with Cyclops standing up the Avengers (who seem more concerned with protecting a hate rally than preventing genocide) and the two most famous X-Men coming together to lay waste to large group of human canon fodder.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hendo Art's Spider-Gwen Cosplay Music Video

Bull - Prior Bad Acts

The death of Benny's (Freddy Rodríguez) father complicates matters given Bull's (Michael Weatherly) feelings for Benny's sister, and Bull's ex-wife (Yara Martinez), just when a wealthy client enlists the firm in looking into his brother's unexpected death due to a nitroglycerin overdose. While initially suspicious of the doctor who prescribed the medication, it quickly becomes obvious the far more alluring suspect is the victim's widow (Reiko Aylesworth) who has left a string of dead husbands in her wake (yet always seems to profit).

Monday, February 4, 2019

Cosplayer of the Week - Elizabeth Rage

Elizabeth Rage is a cosplayer and costume designer from Los Angeles, California. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also support her on Pateron.